By reading this thread, You’re no doubt interested in what this “Super Distro” project is and what it’s all about.
There is a huge story attached to this, and for those who are interested in that, I’ll be getting into story-time in just a moment.
Just a few notes before we begin: I’ve created this Work-In-Progress thread to let people know what I’ve been up to and why my latest book hasn’t come out yet. I’ve also created it for those who enjoy reading a long-winded story that has no significance on their life whatsoever, but they’re bored and want to read something.
So without further ado - I hope you’re sitting comfortably. It’s time for the story of “Super Distro”.
As you’ll have guessed by now, I’m Kitatus Studios. When I say that, I’m really saying my name is Ryan Shah. Over the past 10 years, I’ve been working with game development tools to bring my ideas to life but Super Distro is my first commercial project.
But this story doesn’t begin with Kitatus Studios and Super Distro. It begins with little old me and a project called “Distro Horizons Vs. Galaximo’s Army”.
This might ring a few bells to some of you (Who scower the Work-In-Progress forums on a regular basis). Distro Horizons was a VERY different project to what “Super Distro” has become but again, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back even further.
It’s around two years ago, the distant past. (The year 2013).
I had recently moved in my partner; Scarlett and l had recently quit my job so I could focus on following my dream of bringing one my commercial game ideas to life.
Scarlett and I began brainstorming and we came up with some pretty crazy ideas for games. I don’t want to bore you will all of the outcomes of these brainstorming sessions; But let’s just say there were two candidates for the final game:
Distro Horizons (At the time, Untitled Project) - Which was an N64-throwback style platformer and Scartopia; Which is a really awesome project Scarlett came up with which I hope I have the skills to bring to life one day in the future. Think American McGee’s Alice colliding with the Disney Alice in Wonderland (No, not that horrible live action film) which then in turn collides with all things cute, all sprinkled with a sense of wonder and adventure.
However, our story isn’t about Scartopia. I hope that WILL become a story I can tell you all one day, but for now, let’s focus back on Distro Horizons.
So Scarlett and I came up with this cool idea in which a modern-day game played just like a N64 game of old. Nowadays, these are common place in the indie scene but at the time, I thought we were onto something (Big mistake!).
Having a very tight budget, I have almost no money to work on the project with. Armed only with my skills and my sense of determination, I charged blindly into the project (Which, at the time was being developed in Unity). Scarlett, wanting nothing but the best for me, gave me all the money to not only survive but also funded everything I needed to make the project a reality.
I told Scarlett, Yeah “It’ll take like two months tops and it’ll be done”.
Two months later and the project was far from done. I think I had a whole start menu and basic movement mechanics. I mean it WAS something, but it wasn’t the project I envisioned.
Scarlett sighed but continue to believe in the project. A few more months went by and I still hadn’t made much progress. It wasn’t that I was a lazy; Not at all. It’s just super-hard doing all the jobs of AAA* studio when you’re just one person.
I was working literally all my waking hours on the project. Not only that but it would keep me up at night (Why doesn’t this code work. What if I put it there?) and there were plenty of nights where I only got about an hour of sleep as I was sick with worry about the project.
It’s pretty fair to say that the project was killing me. It was doing something I loved yeah, but with all of the problems of working with Unity (And it’s limitations) coupled with hardly ever seeing Scarlett (We were in the same room but she’d only see my back). It was quickly seeping into something I loathed rather than enjoyed doing.
Fast forward to March 2014. Most of you know where this is going but for those who don’t - THIS is when Unreal Engine 4 was released. I remember skimming over the news on Kotaku or something and thinking: Man, this engine looks cool. After checking out a Youtube video which starred Zak (Zack? Zac? Za-You get the idea) Parrish showing off just how simple Blueprints were - I knew this is what I and Distro Horizons needed. I NEEDED Unreal Engine 4 in my life.
So I hunted around frantically trying to find a release date, only to find out that it had already been released that day. Amazing! I whipped out Scarlett’s debit card and I became a subscriber.
In about two days (No lie!), I had ported over all of my work from Unity into Unreal Engine 4. That’s how power Unreal Engine 4 really is. All that work I had spent almost a year on Unity was fully recreated in Unreal Engine 4 in hours. It was crazy.
With the project re-created, I decided to build and build on what I had, Getting ever closer to confirming a release date.
It quickly got to the stage where production was almost at an end and I felt comfortable offering the alpha on Desura, getting on Greenlight .etc. The project totally flopped on Greenlight (I think it’s STILL on there as I haven’t had time to delete it) and I created all of the IndieDB pages .etc - Everything thing an independent developer should do to pre-market their game.
Scarlett and I even got a cat and called it “Inspector “Distro” Mittens” to celebrate all the hard-work we put into the project (And to have a cute fur-ball that ate all my food!)
Quite a few people were interested in the project, a lot of people hated it but I didn’t care. I just wanted something that I could say to my future children: I made that! and get enough from all of the work to pay back Scarlett and live off my own back.
In most fictional stories, this is where a massive plot twist happens. However, this isn’t a fictional story. HOWEVER, this is where something went majorly wrong…
I can’t remember the exact date but it was a few months ago… That fateful day.
I don’t really know what happened exactly. Wether it was a power surge, one of the cats or something worse, I don’t actually know.
I booted up the PC to make some finishing touches to the level in Distro Horizons. I hit the power button and it wouldn’t work. “Don’t worry, it’s just the fuse” I thought to myself. I replaced the fuse. Still nothing. “Maybe the power supply was broken?!”. Nope. Turns out something had gone horribly wrong with the hard-drive.
To this day, I was never able to get any data from the hard-drive, even after trying to send the HDD off to get the data off of it. Somehow, something had gone so wrong that even the experts couldn’t save it.
I was depressed. Naturally, you can understand why. All that work. All that time that I could’ve spent with Scarlett totally down the toilet. It’s not easy to admit, but I honestly felt like… You know… doing the worst. I’m normally quite a happy little person but this… All that hard work… All the love I put into it.
Looking back, It was my own dumb fault for not backing up or using source control, But it’s something that I swear by now! ALWAYS BACK-UP YOUR STUFF PEOPLE.
When Scarlett found out, she was as upset as I was. All that time we could’ve spent together… Wasted. She knew how much I loved the project and how much losing all the data literally crushed me. She used all her money over the next few months to build a totally new computer. Bigger, badder and more stable (Hopefully) that before, She made sure that even though this terrible thing that happened, that she kept her head held high and tried to keep me smiling too.
Anyhow, a few weeks passed and I was still trying to get over the fact that I had lost everything. I swear I was in a state of shock or something. But then I got a message on Twitter and Epic Games felt bad for me and decided to send me a little something.
And boy was it something! I got a massive package in the mail filled with T-Shirts, a USB stick and some other awesome SWAG stuff. They also sent me a whole year for free of Unreal Engine (Which was totally awesome!) - So yeah, thanks for that Epic! You’re epic!
Getting back to the story, So I had a brand-spanking new PC and a whole year of UE4 from Epic. I decided to stop moaping around and feeling sorry for myself. It’s obvious that it wasn’t just me that believed in the project and what I could do.
So I decided to have a long think (That lasted many weeks). While thinking about all of this, this is when the free books that I wrote were released. It was the only way I could think of thanking Epic for the generosity and the community of UE4 for being just darn awesome.
(And those those who are wondering, the third book is coming soon!)
So I had a lot on my plate with the free books (Which are terribly written by the way, Looking back I wished I had an editor!) but I wanted to start Distro Horizons again from scratch.
I took a look from all the feedback from everywhere from the last build of Distro Horizons. Many hated it but a few liked it. Since the start of the project to this point, about a hundred different N64-style platformers joined the fray. Quite a lot of them are good but it became obvious that Distro wouldn’t stand a chance in a indie genre filled to the brim. I literally think the last time I checked, that there were around 100 - 150 N64-Style indie platformers since Distro was started. I don’t think it inspired anyone, just a super-weird coincidence.
Anyhow, it was pretty obvious that the project needed to change. So I threw everything out that I had for the old Distro Horizons and created a WHOLE new project from it’s ashes. This project; “Super Distro” is more like an open-world “Spider-Man” game than something that’d you’d assiosiate with N64 platformers but it became a game that I wanted to play and not a game I felt like I HAD to make.
I was back in control; I had a clean slate. I decided to think back to when I was 12 years old and what games did I enjoy? I immediately thought of Tenchu, Metal Gear Solid and Spider-Man. I then put the pieces together: Why not just mash all of my favourite games up into one super-game? Make that one game I never thought would be possible?
And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing since. Scarlett and I have been working on “Super Distro” non-stop ever since the idea was reborn and that’s where we are today!
End of story.
Well THAT was long-winded. If you enjoyed the read then I’m glad. If you didn’t bother reading it, I can’t really blame you!
Now let’s get to what we’re actually here for: Super Distro.
What is it?: Super Distro (スーパーサイボーグ Sūpā Saibōgu) is a 2015 Action / Adventure game created by Kitatus Studios. Developed with the power of Unreal Engine 4, it is currently in development for PC, Mac, Linux and Android Devices (Using the power of Nvidia GRID technology).The game takes place in the year 2025, in a fictional city called NeoLondon. Players take control of DISTRO, a cyborg who awakens in an alleyway with no memories whatsoever.
It is down to the players to make the choices that will affect not only DISTRO’s quest for his memory but their choices will also affect their surroundings, thanks to a system inspired by Kevin Levine’s Narrative Lego’s ideology.
Armed to the teeth with augmentations and abilities that can only be described as super-powers, Players will have complete freedom to carve their own story in the world of Super Distro.
Doesn’t that sound fun? At the moment, there’s not a lot to show (I explained in the story why!). But here is snippets of my latest work with it all:
EDIT: VIDEO REMOVED AS ART-STYLE HAS CHANGED. NEW VIDEO HERE SOON!
I’ll be adding more to this thread as I work on it but I mainly wanted to start this thread to let you all know what I do apart from write books!
I hope you enjoyed the walls of text!
- Ryan S